Wild travels with Josette

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iol travel july 9 joss cw New York

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BLIZZARD: Eales and her husband Gareth Morgan experience a white Christmas in New York.

Josette Eales is best known for her role as Sara van Reenen in M-Net’s soapie The Wild. Her voice is currently used on several radio and television commercials, as well as voice imaging weekly highlights and line-ups for M-Net on DStv.

She has advanced qualifications in ballet, modern, jazz and contemporary dance and has experience in tap and acrobatics. She has also had a stint in theatre.

When she is not in front of the camera, she enjoys travelling.

How widely have you travelled?

I have never travelled in the East, but I have certainly done a lot of travelling in the West. I’ve been truly blessed to see some majestic and generally awesome places.

Where was your favourite holiday or time spent abroad?

iol travel july 9 joss cw Mozambique

SHADE: Josette Eales, who says she's not much of a beach person, puts on the sunscreen to enjoy Mozambique.

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Each destination has had something special about it and the time spent in each place has been memorable for its own reason. It depends largely on who you are experiencing it with. The six-week road trip I did across the US was pretty mind-blowing, but also exhausting because of the crazy distances you have to travel between places. I also have a deep love for Paris and I long to return.

Your worst experience on a holiday?

It has to have been the post-Christmas blizzard I experienced in New York City. My husband Gareth Morgan and I were staying at a friend’s apartment and had woken up late on the morning of December 26 to discover that it was not just snowing, it was snowing like crazy!

We spent a good few hours staring out the window deciding if we would venture out and eventually gave up on the idea and watched a few DVDs and ate breakfast cereal for lunch.

Eventually, when we had no more food and dinner time rolled around, we decided it was silly to be spending our highly anticipated vacation in New York inside an apartment, and so we headed out to find some dinner. We went out the door and tried to walk through thigh-deep snow. We made it halfway down the block when Gareth yelled over the blowing gale and snow: “There are ice crystals growing in my ears!”

We decided stale bagels would do and rushed back inside.

iol travel july 9 joss cw Singnita Lebombo

HAPPINESS: Josette Ealess favourite place to enjoy a sundowner is on a game drive in Singita Lebombo in Kruger Park.

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Your funniest experience?

That would probably be walking into a Catholic church in Austria hoping to just take in the beauty of the building. But I was welcomed in and seated for a service. I had to sit through the entire service and to top it off I was even encouraged to take part in communion. The only word I understood was the German word for “God”.

I smiled a lot and prayed it would end. As I walked out of the church I slipped on the snow-covered stairs and fell on my butt – so much for a smooth exit!

What do you avoid during a holiday?

I try to avoid too much of the touristy stuff. I love seeing how the locals live, so I prefer to explore what’s real about a place and not what has become popular. I also try to avoid crowds, but most of all I avoid the sun and sand – I’m not much of a beach person. This pale skin requires copious amounts of sunscreen and large areas of shade. Oh, and I also stay very far away from hostels – I’ve learnt that from experience, too.

Best meal abroad?

It was a simple margarita pizza I ate at a café on the edge of a canal in Venice. My mom was with me and we stopped off quickly to grab a bite. As we sat there, the sun began to set, we sipped some dry white and then the pizza arrived – with its thin base and fresh basil – and proceeded to melt in our mouths. That pizza is burnt into my memory for ever.

Your favourite place to have sundowners on your travels?

I’ve travelled a lot still the best place to have a sundowner is in an SA game reserve. My top choice has to be Amarula on crushed ice on a game drive at Singita Lebombo in Kruger Park. The Lebombo Mountains and the animals on the reserve are incredible to see at sunset.

What have you learnt from your travels?

I’ve learnt tolerance through understanding how cultures lead to different logics and hence different actions, and if we don’t understand the learnt logic, we tend to judge.

I’ve developed a great taste for different foods and I’ve learnt to taste first and ask after.

I’ve discovered truths about societies that hide from journalists and news channels, by hanging out with local people and getting to grips with their history.

But the biggest lesson I have learnt is about myself. It’s an awesome thing to remove yourself from the comforts of familiarity and to see just how you do when faced with challenges and moments of crisis. It’s also great to see how people respond to you.

Ideal travelling companion?

Definitely my husband, but I must say a close second is travelling with my family – those memories are awesome for future dinner-time conversation.

Culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Being an actress, I have a vested interest in the arts, and the creation of art. I love visiting museums, galleries and watching theatre. I’m also passionate about old buildings and walking through places that have a lot of history. Having said that, I also wouldn’t say no to jumping into a hot-air balloon or out of a plane. The only thing I won’t do is swim in the sea due to my shark phobia. Cage diving would probably be my worst nightmare.

Dream trip?

To go to Japan. I’m so passionate about the culture. I’d love to go in cherry blossom season, eat myself sick on sushi and learn some fabulous Japanese catch phrases.

Where next?

I’m off to New York this month with my mom. She hasn’t been since she was my age and only for two days, so there’s lots to show her. - Weekend Argus

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